This week the two social networking giants Facebook and Instagram went offline. Facebook is blaming an internal fault caused by engineers, while others are blaming a DDos attack. Whatever the cause, the fact is they were offline for less than an hour.
But it seems those 60 precious minutes of life without Facebook caused an emergency to a few dim-witted souls, as a US 911 dispatcher received five emergency calls. That’s right, FIVE!
The emergency services wrote to a Californian news blog to tell citizens not to call 911 when a website isn’t working.
“We have nothing to do with Facebook and when Facebook isn’t working, it’s not an emergency. Our lines our dedicated to handle life and death calls, and even though Facebook is important to a lot of people, it’s not a matter of life and death when it stops working. One caller even called back to tell me I was being rude because I told her it wasn’t a life threatening emergency.”
Now, we’re all about technology at Computer Weekly, but on the news desk we actually thought a social media break was a nice little breather in an online world we all struggle to live in.
Think of what you could achieve in an hour without Facebook? I personally found time to finish off a feature I’d been struggling to concentrate on. Maybe you could go for a four mile run? Put on a load of washing? Take a full lunch break? Prepare for next week’s big meeting? Or even watch an episode of your favourite TV show without updating all of your “friends”? How liberating.